The capital turned into a city of processions on Thursday as both mayoral and councillor candidates staged showdowns to demonstrate their popularity at the last moment since the curtain is set to fall on electioneering in the elections to the two Dhaka city corporations on Thursday midnight.
The campaign will end at 12am, 36 hours before the voting, as per the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972.
The aspirants passed busy time throughout the day to reach out to voters and woo them during the last-minute campaign. They also made lofty promises to fulfill if they are elected as their last-minute strategy to convince voters.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) go to elections on Saturday.
There are 13 mayoral candidates -– six in the DNCC and seven in the DSCC -– in the election race.
The entire election will be held using electronic voting machines (EVMs) instead of traditional ballot papers and two army personnel will be there in every polling station to safeguard the voting machines.
Some 58 lakh people –- 3,035,621 in DNCC and 2,767,488 in DSCC — will have the opportunity to exercise their franchise under the two cities.
The last elections to both the city corporations of the capital were held on April 28, 2015.
Awami League candidate in DNCC Atiqul Islam carried out campaign at Bhasantek slum on Thursday noon. He made door-to-door visits and distributed leaflets and sought vote for himself.
He also spoke at a street rally where he assured the slum dwellers, saying no-one will be evicted without rehabilitation if he is elected in the election. “If I get elected, I promise you I’ll carry out development of this area taking all together.”
Later, Atiqul conducted electioneering in Natun Bazar area.
Ruling party contestant in DSCC Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh conducted campaign in Gopibagh area in the morning while his rival candidate from BNP Ishraque Hossain conducted electioneering in the area in the afternoon.
DNCC BNP mayoral runner Tabith Awal was also busy campaigning in different areas.
He exchanged views with journalists, Dhaka Union of Journalists and Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) at the Jatiya Press Club in the morning while with Dhaka Reporters Unity and Bangladesh Photojournalists’ Association in the afternoon.
Later, he attended several street rallies and processions in several areas, including Moghbazar, Karwanbazar and Mohammadpur, in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission arranged mock voting with electronic voting machines (EVMs) on Thursday as the entire polling in the elections will be held with the EVMs.
Besides, it imposed a ban on the movement of motorcycles for 54 hours and motorised vehicles for 18 hours in the capital for the city elections.
While the restrictions on the plying of motorbikes are set to come into effect on Thursday midnight and that for motorised vehicles will be effective from Friday midnight in the election areas.
However, the motorbikes and vehicles with EC’s stickers, vehicles of emergency services, including ambulance, fire service and postal department, will remain out of the ban purview.